Skype Barely Ripe

25 06 2009
The better Skype interface

The better Skype interface

I use Skype a lot.  Initially for just keeping in touch with family, but now more frequently with business contacts.  In fact, we use Skype internally as our default company IM client.  I always felt that Skype’s simplicity and straightforward interface was what kept people happy.

And it goes without saying, voice and video calling experiences are terrific.

The Windows version of Skype, especially the last one I used before switching (version 4 I believe), was really nice. Tabbed conversations made keeping track of message exchanges so much easier.  The docking feature was useful when I was going over my head with multiple running conversations. Icons were color coded so you easily knew what a person’s availability was.

But to my surprise, all these useful features were gone in the Linux version of Skype!  More unbelievably, I found two small but basic problems in the Linux version:

  • Copy and paste is broken.  I can’t copy using the keyboard shortcut CONTROL-C, even though it works with the mouse right-click button. Why is this?  Skype itself says I can use CONTROL-C. But it just does not work.
  • Dragging and dropping files doesn’t send them. Normally, dropping a file into an open conversation sends that file to the person on the other end of the chat.  In Linux, it doesn’t work that way. You need to either you click on SEND FILE and hunt for the file or, mercifully, drag the file onto the name of the contact in the main Skype window.  Still, where’s  the intuition?

Skype for Linux does work on the basics: (1) chat, (2) voice, (3) video calls, and (4) file sending.  But I still wish it was as good as it is on Windows.

Note: I know Skype is not open source.  But the purpose of Open Daily is to explore what the regular person’s experience would be in a predominantly open source world.  So until there’s an alternative to Skype where I can find all my current contacts available, I’m not going to use a less popular service for the sake of sticking with open source.  How will I get things done if I can’t find my contacts?

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One response

12 01 2013
rachel

Skype alan3459

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